Westmoreland Association, Inc.
251-31 42nd Avenue, Little Neck, NY 11363 
E-mail: westmoreland@littleneck.net


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Minutes of the General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Association
March 21, 201

Officers Present
President – Walter Mugdan
Vice President - Victor Dadras
Treasurer – Gary Savage
Secretary – Charles Manna

Board Members Present
Peter Reinharz
John Duane
David Diaz
Phil Toscano

Officials Present
Ahmed Nazaar from NYC Councilman Peter Vallone’s office

Old Business –
President Walter Mugdan called the meeting to order at 8:05 P.M. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously adopted to waive reading of the minutes. (Mr. Mugdan noted that the minutes were available for review on the Westmoreland website.)

Gary Savage provided the Treasurer’s Report indicating that the balance-on-hand was $20,084.63 as of March 21, 2016. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report. The motion was seconded and the report was unanimously approved.

Board Elections – The existing slate of officers and board members was ratified for another year, with the addition of one new board member, John Duane.

President – Walter Mugdan
Vice President – Victor Dadras
Treasurer – Gary Savage
Secretary – Charles Manna

Board Members
Robert Timmerman
Peter Reinharz
John Duane
David Diaz
Phil Toscano
Victor Dadras

New Business –
Mr. Mugdan reported that the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association has asked the Westmoreland Association to support S6958, a legislative proposal of New York State Senator Tony Avella that would promote the creation and recognition of architectural districts within New York City. Among the motivations for the bill is the slow pace and highly restrictive nature of historic district designation. This legislation would create an alternative and less stringent pathway through which a community can protect its architectural heritage and maintain the character of their neighborhood. After a period of discussion, a motion to support the objectives of this legislation was made, seconded, and passed with all but one member present voting in favor. (On March 25 Mr. Mugdan wrote to Sen. Avella to convey this position.)

Mr. Mugdan reported that on March 17 we received a communication from Sen. Avella's office regarding the ongoing effort to reinstate the "cease and desist" law. Sen. Avella requests that residents who receive unsolicited real estate advertisements to report that information to his office. The advertisements can be mailed to his office at 38-50 Bell Blvd. Suite C, Bayside, NY 11361.

Update on Support of covenants. Mr. Mugdan noted that in 2013 the Westmoreland Association, joined by the Douglas Manor Association and the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association, asked the District 19 candidates for NY City Council, if elected, to work for legislation requiring the Buildings Department to put a "flag" on its website for properties subject to protective covenants such as ours. Such a flag would be placed upon notification by an individual or an association like ours that covenants apply to a property. As a candidate Councilman Vallone agreed to undertake such an effort, and once elected he introduced Intro 280 which would have done that. The bill was vigorously opposed by the City Buildings Department. In due course, the City Administration proposed an alternative, pursuant to which the City Finance Department would create such a flag on its ACRIS database of properties. That arrangement was finalized in January, 2016; the Finance Dep't. created a form to be used by individuals or associations to identify properties subject to covenants.

Our Association was disappointed in this arrangement for several reasons. First, the flag would be in the ACRIS system, rather than the Buildings Information System (BIS). This significantly reduces its utility because all persons building or expanding on a property need to check BIS, but few need to check ACRIS. Second, the form itself requires submission of information that is both burdensome to collect and unnecessary for the purpose.

Ahmed Nazaar stated that Councilman Valone’s office has worked with the BFHA to complete the form for a number of properties, and has found that it is not unduly burdensome. His office created an instruction form to help identify where the relevant documentation can be found -- much of it online. He said they would be happy to help us and the other associations complete the forms, with the help of interns. He noted that Lionel and Jonathan in the Councilman's office are most knowledgeable about the process and would be available to speak with us. Mr. Mugdan said he would undertake to fill the form out for a property that was recently sold and may be subject to development (see below); and he will accept the offer to discuss this further with Councilman Vallone's staff.

Commercial News:
Update: Citibank appears to have walked away from the new building on the old Scobie Diners lot. There is a “For Lease” sign up on the window again.

Staples building – No news. There is a rumor that the Staples building and the North Shore Hardware building will be combined to create a car dealership.

Development: A corner lot on Glenwood and 41st Drive was recently purchased. The new owner purportedly has stated that she intends to split the lot and build two new houses on them. The lot is not big enough to do this legally. It violates both the Westmoreland covenants and the NYC zoning law (it is zoned R2A). The current property is comprised of four Rickert Finlay lots; the covenants require a minimum of three such lots for a corner house. Also, the City's R2A zoning requires a minimum of 40' frontage for each house. The property in question is 75 x 100, therefore not large enough to support two houses. Walter Mugdan will write to, and offer to meet with the new owner and inform her that the proposed split cannot happen. (The letter was sent on March 25.)

Memorial Day Parade – There will be a Memorial Day Parade board meeting April 6th and a general meeting on Saturday, April 9th. Anyone interested in volunteering should attend one or both. Charles Manna is looking for volunteers to help organize the parade attendants in Division I (the blocks from Buttonwood to the Harley-Davidson Dealership). The Parade itself is on May 30 at 2 PM; members are invited to march with the Westmoreland Association (meet in the parking area near the Starbucks on Northern Blvd.)

Udalls Cove Annual Cleanup - Saturday, April 16, starting at 10 a.m. All are invited. Meet near Aurora Pond on the Back Road (Sandhill Road), just west of the Little Neck railroad station; then join us for a free post-cleanup picnic lunch at Memorial Field in Douglaston.

Questions from the membership:
1. Massage Parlor – has a task force been successful in shutting any of them down? We will ask at the next meeting when the police will attend.
2. Parking on properties: People are parking on their front lawns. This is a continuing concern of the membership. We will remind homeowners that this is not permitted.

The schedule for the remaining year’s meetings will be May 16, September 19 and November 21, 2016.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted

Charles Manna, Secretary

To view meetings schedules click here

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